Marking Iowa City History through the Moffitt Cottages

Apr 20, 2015

Iowa City still has the mark of Howard Moffitt all over. His hobbit-like houses sit intermingled with more traditional houses in many Iowa City neighborhoods to this day.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Dr. Richard DeGowin, author of “House of Moffitt, The First 20 Years – a Memoir”.

One characteristic of the Moffitt houses is that Moffitt built them on the premise that they were to be rented out and bought by low-income tenants.

They were small houses, and they served a group of people who had very low income - struggling recent graduates of the university during the depression

“They were small houses, and they served a group of people who had very low income—struggling recent graduates of the university during the depression,” DeGowin said. “To me, it was a very enlightened approach to seeing a need, and solving a problem that if you think about it, really hasn’t been solved recently. There’s still a need for affordable housing in Iowa City.”

DeGowin grew up in two different Moffitt houses. In his book, he comments on the history, impact, and occupants of the famous houses.